Peter Sprigg: Only married couples deserve financial support from society

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Society gives "benefits" to marriage because marriage gives benefits to society. Therefore, when those who are not married, such as people in homosexual or cohabiting relationships, seek to receive such public benefits, they bear the burden of proof. They must show that such relationships benefit society (not just themselves) in the same way and to the same degree that authentic marriage between a man and a woman does.

This is a burden they cannot meet. Only the union of a man and a woman can result in the natural reproduction that is essential literally to continue the human race. And research clearly demonstrates that married men and women — and children raised by their married, biological mother and father — are happier, healthier and more prosperous than people in any other living situation. These are the true benefits of marriage.

The legal and financial benefits of marriage are not an entitlement for every citizen regardless of lifestyle. They give an incentive to enter into the socially beneficial relationship of authentic marriage and give protection to the social institution of marriage.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilySexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships

31 Comments
Posted June 26, 2007 at 5:59 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Tom Roberts wrote:

This article ignores the social and legal phenomena of “common law” marriage, which is a very widespread concept that undermines the author’s logic. Most heterosexual couples could claim marital status under such laws.

June 26, 6:48 am | [comment link]
2. Brian from T19 wrote:

This is the very reason that people are fighting for recognition of same sex marriage.

They must show that such relationships benefit society (not just themselves) in the same way and to the same degree that authentic marriage between a man and a woman does.

And married heterosexuals?  Why shouldn’t they be required to meet this ‘litmus test’ of providing value to society?

Only the union of a man and a woman can result in the natural reproduction that is essential literally to continue the human race. And research clearly demonstrates that married men and women — and children raised by their married, biological mother and father — are happier, healthier and more prosperous than people in any other living situation. These are the true benefits of marriage.

So then those couples who are unable or choose not to propagate should be banned unless they prove their utility to society?

The unanimous Michigan appeals court was correct in recognizing that and would have been guilty of judicial anarchy if it had not.

A tired argument and one based on politics and not law.

It simply makes no sense for a state’s taxpayers to fund the financial benefits of marriage for people who are not married according to that state’s supreme law.

There are many benefits to the State of funding this.

It is obvious to me that this type of uneducated, ill informed argument would only be able to get voice in a paper of very little substance like USA Today.

June 26, 7:48 am | [comment link]
3. Larry Morse wrote:

Well, it’s about time someone wrote this argument out clearly. Brian’s comments above are now customary and mandatory but do not add up to a denial of the argument here posed. LM

June 26, 8:05 am | [comment link]
4. Words Matter wrote:

The last time I checked, authentic marriage between a man and a woman does. would refer to married heterosexuals.

This is the important point, and not yet answered:

And research clearly demonstrates that married men and women — and children raised by their married, biological mother and father — are happier, healthier and more prosperous than people in any other living situation. These are the true benefits of marriage

Tom Roberts, if I understand correctly, common-law marraige is simply the declaration by a couple that they are married and derives from the frontier times when a preacher or judge might not be available. I think such marraiges (at least in Texas) carry the force of law, but are created differently.

June 26, 8:18 am | [comment link]
5. Brian from T19 wrote:

Words Matter

For many reasons, there is no real scientific research done on this.  there are some studies in progress, but the ones that have published data are decidedly partisan

June 26, 8:47 am | [comment link]
6. Summersnow wrote:

Brian,

Words Matter

The written word is a lie.—John Lydon

May I ask—which it is?
sj engelhardt

June 26, 10:03 am | [comment link]
7. Brian from T19 wrote:

Summersnow

‘Words Matter’ is another poster’s name

The quote from John Lydon is from a song.

June 26, 10:43 am | [comment link]
8. Marty the Baptist wrote:

So then those couples who are unable or choose not to propagate should be banned unless they prove their utility to society?

Nope, it’s simply a matter of fairness.  All of us can marry—whether we choose to have children or not.

Just as you or any other gay person can marry (a member of the opposite sex).  No one is excluded from marriage, regardless of their sexual orientation.

June 26, 12:14 pm | [comment link]
9. Ross wrote:

“The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under railway bridges and beg in the streets.”—quoting from memory, so I probably got it wrong, and in any case I don’t remember who said it.

But the argument “Gay men are just as free to marry women as straight men are!” argument has always struck me as… “bizarre” is the kindest term I can think of.

“Of course you have complete freedom of appliance color, here at the Reasserter’s Big House of Discount Appliances!  You can buy your refrigerator in any color you choose!  As long as you choose avocado green.”

June 26, 12:33 pm | [comment link]
10. Deja Vu wrote:

I appreciate the way Brian from T19 puts the quote “The written word is a lie” at the bottom of his posts so that we will realize that what he has just written is a lie.
Sometimes as I am reading his posts, I think, “Oh this poor man is so confused with the LGBT memes he is spouting,” Then I see the tagline and realize he is parroting the memes to add to the thread, all the time acknowledging it is a lie.

June 26, 12:48 pm | [comment link]
11. Marty the Baptist wrote:

Ross, your choice not to marry a member of the opposite sex is a liberty exercised, not a right denied.

June 26, 1:14 pm | [comment link]
12. Ross wrote:

#11:

Are you saying that we should be thankful that marriage is not compulsory?  I suppose that I am thankful for that, now that you bring it up, but it hadn’t really occurred to me to worry about it before now.

If your argument is that marriage is a privilege, not a right, and therefore we should be nothing but thankful for the privilege no matter how restricted or how unevenly distributed—then I must disagree.

It was not so very long ago that laws against miscegenation were commonplace (and defended as being for the good of society.)  Would you argue that there was no “right denied” because a black man who wished to marry a white woman, or vice versa, could still exercise their liberty to either marry someone of their own race or not marry at all?  Or would you not say that no, this was grossly unjust and the laws were rightly overturned?  The situations seem to me analogous.

June 26, 2:08 pm | [comment link]
13. Words Matter wrote:

Brian,

Perhaps you could be more explicit, since I’ve never heard anyone discount research showing the benefits of a stable husband/wife household on children.  Unless, of course, I can dismiss your comments as “partisan”.

It would, of course, be helpful to consider the benefits to the whole community of marraige in general and ask whether same-sex (or other) relationships can be expected to provide those benefits in return for the benefits (financial and otherwise) the community bestows on the couples.  Unfortunately, homosexualists argue “justice”, demanding marraige for homosexually inclined persons, without making a case that such relationships benefit the rest of us.

June 26, 2:15 pm | [comment link]
14. Rolling Eyes wrote:

Ross, talk about “bizarre” arguments…What on earth does miscegenation have to do with homosexual relationships?

And, the argument you did call bizarre is really just common sense.  You are a man.  As a man, you have the exact same rights as any other man to marry any other woman of your choosing.  You then have the same rights as everyone else, and are being denied none.  If you want the right to marry another man, then what you are asking for are extra, special rights.  Case closed.

June 26, 2:17 pm | [comment link]
15. Marty the Baptist wrote:

Ross, WRT miscegenation, what the Loving court ruled was that race was not even remotely relevant to the institution of Marriage—what was relevant was man+woman, regardless of their race.

And i agree—likewise, “sexual orientation” is also not relevant to the institution, what is important is man+woman, regardless of their sexual orientation.

You appear to think that gender is as irrelevant as race, and want to elevate orientation to the level of importance that you just demoted gender from!  Sorry friend, the Loving court disagrees!

June 26, 2:40 pm | [comment link]
16. Deja Vu wrote:

I thought the point of the Loving court ruling was that if a man and a woman were going to procreate, it was better to provide the children with the supportive framework of marriage.

June 26, 3:00 pm | [comment link]
17. Ross wrote:

#14:

The relevance is that exactly the same form of argument supports anti-miscegenation laws as supports denying same-sex marriage.

“You are a [person of a particular race].  As a [person of that race], you have the exact same rights as any other [person] to marry any other [person of your own race] of your choosing.  You then have the same rights as everyone else, and are being denied none.  If you want the right to marry [someone of another race], then what you are asking for are extra, special rights.  Case closed.”

See?  The argument is exactly the same; the only difference is that we all agree that in one case—that of race—it’s an absurd argument.  But you’re trying to say that in another case, it’s not merely not-absurd, it’s “common sense.”  I can’t help but find that unconvincing.

June 26, 3:23 pm | [comment link]
18. MJDinNV wrote:

#17 ..except for the fact that you are comparing apples to oranges.  Race does not equal desire or behavior.

June 26, 3:27 pm | [comment link]
19. Rolling Eyes wrote:

“I can’t help but find that unconvincing.”

Judging by your posts, I’m not surprised…It’s common for reappraisers to ignore basic logic and instead wrap it up in emotion and race-baiting.

June 26, 3:34 pm | [comment link]
20. Irenaeus wrote:

Ross: Apart from their cultural associations, racial differences are inconsequential. But men and women were created as counterparts—-as beings incomplete without one another. One might fairly characterize traditional Christian doctrine as teaching that marriage between a man and a woman involves a covalent bond on which we build the family. If this is correct at a paradigmatic level, then other relationships (however noble, however loving, however valuable) are not really the same. To say homosexual marriage differs only anatomically from heterosexual marriage is, I suspect, much like 1970s feminists’ now-discredited dogma that almost all gender differences were rooted in nurture rather than nature.

June 26, 3:43 pm | [comment link]
21. ember wrote:

(#19 Rolling Eyes, the sentence after the ellipses in your post seems far more assumed than verified.)

Meanwhile, my brother and his male partner reared the partner’s niece from age 13—enabling her to attend high school (and graduate cum laude from college at age 19) in a stable, loving, supportive home rather than allowing her to suffer through adolescence at the hands of her father and certified mentally ill mother. Would anyone here claim that this didn’t benefit society?

June 26, 4:08 pm | [comment link]
22. Marty the Baptist wrote:

This is silly.  Here’s my shoe analogy:

The Loving court ruled that the color of a pair of shoes didn’t matter—what mattered was whether there was both a left and a right shoe.

You sit here and argue that what matters is whether they buckle or lace—not whether they have both a left and a right.

Sorry friend, two left shoes are not a “pair of shoes”.  Why?  because separate simply isn’t equal.  You should know that by now.

June 26, 4:17 pm | [comment link]
23. Marty the Baptist wrote:

Ember, we have no reason to think your brother and his friend didn’t do the girl a big favor.  But the girl still has both a mother and a father.

June 26, 4:19 pm | [comment link]
24. Rolling Eyes wrote:

“#19 Rolling Eyes, the sentence after the ellipses in your post seems far more assumed than verified.”

If that’s how it seems, then you must be new here.  wink

June 26, 5:10 pm | [comment link]
25. Faithful and Committed wrote:

In Loving v. Virginia the State of Virginia argued that its law outlawing interracial marriage should be upheld on the basis of equal application theory.  This is the claim that the law forbidding cross racial relationships applied evenly across racial categories.  The majority in the Loving case rejected that theory then and it ought to reject it now in marriage equality cases involving sexual orientation.  In each situation, an individual is denied his or her 14th Amendment rights.

June 26, 6:10 pm | [comment link]
26. Ross wrote:

#22 Marty the Baptist:

This is silly.  Here’s my shoe analogy:

The Loving court ruled that the color of a pair of shoes didn’t matter—what mattered was whether there was both a left and a right shoe.

You sit here and argue that what matters is whether they buckle or lace—not whether they have both a left and a right.

Sorry friend, two left shoes are not a “pair of shoes”.  Why?  because separate simply isn’t equal.  You should know that by now.

OK, let’s go with the shoes.

Suppose that one day, someone announces that they happen to prefer wearing two left shoes.  Doesn’t matter why, maybe it’s genetic, maybe they had a bad experience with a right shoe as a child, maybe it’s something they just feel deeply is a part of them—but two left shoes is what they want to wear.

Would you forbid them on the grounds that “two left shoes are not a pair,” and that the shoes worn by all God-fearing left-and-right shoe wearing people will be ineffably damaged because one person is out there wearing two left shoes?

Or would you shrug and say, “Hey, I wouldn’t like it, but no skin off my nose; wear whatever shoes you want, pal”?

June 26, 6:22 pm | [comment link]
27. Deja Vu wrote:

If it were my child who was proposing to walk around in two left shoes, I would try to explain why wearing a left shoe on a right foot can cause damage to the foot. If he was stubborn, I would take him to the doctor to explain the logical consequences. If he insisted, I would let him try it for a while. And I would try to make it easy for him to back down gracefully when his foot started to hurt.

June 26, 6:38 pm | [comment link]
28. Marty the Baptist wrote:

Ross, of course not—I would never forbid someone from wearing two left shoes if that felt more comfortable to them.

However if a show store marketed two left shoes as “a pair of shoes” i would charge them with fraud.  Wouldn’t you?

June 26, 6:53 pm | [comment link]
29. Marty the Baptist wrote:

From Loving v Virginia:

The fact that Virginia prohibits only interracial marriages involving white persons demonstrates that the racial classifications must stand on their own justification, as measures designed to maintain White Supremacy.

Since the miscegenation laws only applied to whites marrying other races (and not to blacks marrying asians, hispanics, or indians), the commonly used analogy is simply false: all men may marry all women, and all women may marry any man—regardless of anyone’s sexual orientation.

Again, you are arguing that gender is as unimportant as race.

But Loving disagrees:

Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival.

Is there anything about the union of two men or two women that can be described as “fundamental to our very existence and survival”?

Of course not.

June 26, 6:56 pm | [comment link]
30. Marty the Baptist wrote:

For my money, when it comes to the natural rights and obvious needs of children to have a mother and a father of their own, sexual orientation is just as irrelevant as race.

June 26, 6:59 pm | [comment link]
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